by Michael Brown, staff writer
Happy birthday to comic book penciler Kevin Maguire! Maguire was born September 9, 1960, and is known by comic book fans everywhere as the penciler and one-third of the creative team of the hilarious 1990s take on the Justice League. Maguire also did the artwork on titles such as Captain America, X-Men, Hawk and Dove, and more recently, Injustice: Gods Among Us, and World’s Finest with George Perez. His first credited work was for pages in Marvel’s The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe vol. 2, and DC’s Who’s Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe.
In 1987, Maguire, along with writers J.M. DeMatteis and Keith Giffen, relaunched DC’s usually serious, powerhouse title Justice League into a sitcom-like take on the League. In the series, called Justice League America, Maguire and company would give new life to old characters, such as Captain Marvel, who retained Billy Batson’s personality; Green Lantern Guy Gardner, who was an obnoxious jerk in a split personality that would go away if hit in the head; and Booster Gold, who became focused on wealth and fame and was much more inept than in Dan Jurgens’ take on him. After Crisis on Infinite Earths ultimately brought all of DC’s properties into one universe, it was the creative team’s chance to pull these new additions together with DC’s current heroes as a coherent unit. In the series, the new Justice League became a corporate entity helmed by mogul Maxwell Lord, and would be lighthearted and comedic in tone, at a time when Marvel was dark and gritty. Justice League would win several awards, one for best comedy series, and would later spin off another series called Justice League Europe. The whole shebang ended in 1992 due to waning sales.
Maguire would reunite with DeMatteis and Giffen to bring back the comedic Justice League in the six-issue mini-series Formerly Known as the Justice League, and its sequel I Can’t Believe It’s Not the Justice League, seen as a backup tale in JLA Classified. In a bizarre twist, he would be tasked to team up with DeMatteis and Giffen yet again on DC’s Justice League 3000, DC’s unpopular attempt to reboot the fan-favorite and recently-cancelled Legion of Super-Heroes as a Justice League-like team. But, for reasons known only to the DC Powers-That-Be, Maguire was removed from the project. Despite that, Kevin Maguire retains a cult standing among his fans.
SCIFI.radio would like to wish Kevin Maguire a Happy Birthday, and we fervently hope to see more Justice League zaniness soon.
Michael Brown is a comics nerd and a father who lives in small town Tennessee. When he’s not making his players mad in his “Shadowrun” RPG or experimenting with new and inventive uses of duct tape on his children, you can find him checking out the latest comics and movies for SCIFI.radio!